Top Twitter Feeds 2012

We've augmented our comprehensive list of Twitter's top sources for news and observations about urban planning, design and development by recognizing this year's Top Ten Feeds.
Rosaura Ochoa / Flickr

When we last published our Top Twitter Feeds list two years ago, the social media platform had approximately 145 million users. Earlier this year, Twitter was said to have surpassed half a billion users, cementing its status as an invaluable tool for sharing, discussing, and disseminating information and breaking news.

For 2012, we’ve recognized ten of the top Twitter feeds that we've encountered over the past year. The people and organizations we’ve spotlighted below are adept at bringing attention to their own work and the work of others, and offer insightful commentary in 140 character increments. For each entry we’ve made note of their twitter handle, their influence via Klout score, and the description they’ve provided.

 

Bruce Katz
@bruce_katz
Klout: 62
VP @BrookingsInst | In the face of economic stagnation, fiscal turmoil & federal gridlock, we are witnessing The Metropolitan Revolution - new book, Spring 2013

Katz, a vice president at the Brookings Institution and founding Director of the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program, focuses on issues related to economic development, and keeps followers up to date on the latest in urban related research published by the venerable think tank.

Brent Toderian
@BrentToderian
Klout: 65
City planner + urbanist, TODERIAN UrbanWORKS; Former Vancouver Chief Planner; President, Council for Canadian Urbanism; CBC Columnist/writer/speaker/city-lover.

After only six months of tweeting, the former Chief Planner, and current chief booster, for Vancouver, has quickly established himself as one of the most active and respected voices on urban issues on the platform. With more than 3,500 tweets (around 20/day), the Planetizen blogger is also one of the most prodigious.

TransportationNation
@TransportNation
Klout: 67
A public radio project w/analysis & news on rail, bikes, cars, transit, policy; cool visuals. From @WNYC, stations across U.S.

A partnership of several public radio newsrooms, TN provides links to transportation and infrastructure related content daily from around the web. TN has also been indispensable in keeping followers updated on the status of New York’s transit system in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

Emily Badger
@emilymbadger
Klout: 62
Washington-based writer, contributor to The Atlantic Cities, Fast Company, Pacific Standard. Outdoor lover.

Author and contributor to several planning- and development-oriented publications, Badger engages her followers in thoughtful discussion, and delivers links on topics related to cities, design, politics, and social issues from her perch in the Nation’s Capital.

Gary Kavanaugh
@GaryRidesBikes
Klout: 60
#carfree #bikeLA rider/writer/advocate || @LAStreetsblog SaMo columnist || Metro Expo Line Bicycle Advisory Committee member || Game development is my day job

Urban issues aren’t his day job, but you’d never know from the endless stream of provocative, unabashed, and entertaining commentary Kavanaugh delivers on a daily basis on issues largely related to transportation, and his passion for bicycling, in Los Angeles.

Governing
@GOVERNING
Klout: 58
GOVERNING covers the states and localities. Tweeting news, links and questions on state and local policy. RTs are not endorsements.

The twitter platform of the eponymous magazine provides links to nonpartisan news, insight and analysis on such issues as public finance, transportation, economic development, health, energy, the environment and technology. Their "Daily Digit" and "Who Said That?" features help make even the most mundane public sector reports compelling.

Jarrett Walker
@humantransit
Klout: 56
Public transit policy consultant, author of HumanTransit.org and the book Human Transit (Island Press, '11). Humanities PhD. Interested in everything.

The respected author and public transit guru fires shots across the bows of transportation engineers, planners, and public officials around the world in the bite-sized extension of his Human Transit blog. Walker isn’t shy about making his well considered opinions known.

New Geography
@newgeography
Klout: 51

Follow this feed for links to the latest writings on economic development, metropolitan demographics, and community leadership from the conservative website run by Joel Kotkin and Praxis Strategy Group. Whether you're interested in reading opinions on why Americans still favor the suburbs or why "red states" continue to attract "blue state" residents, New Geography is a great source for contrarian opinions to the accepted planning dogma.

Cameron Sinclair
@casinclair
Klout: 80
Eternal optimist and rabble rouser. Started Architecture for Humanity, won a TED Prize and advise USAID. I also tweet about Arsenal and write books.

Executive Director and cofounder of Architecture for Humanity, and one of the leaders of the socially responsible design movement, Sinclair’s twitter feed documents his globe trotting adventures as a public speaker and do-gooder, and his often anguished (but occasionally celebratory) musings on his beloved Arsenal soccer team.

Archinect
@archinect
Klout: 67
The goal of Archinect is to make architecture more connected and open-minded.

A popular platform for students, educators, and architects interested in progressive design since its founding 15 years ago, follow Archinect for links to the website’s latest in architecture related news, commentary, events, and competitions.

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List of Top Twitter Accounts

Many of the top Twitter feeds that Planetizen has recognized (and several others) may be found on this popular "Best City Policy & Planning" Twitter list: https://twitter.com/urbandata/best-city-policy-planning

Inclusion of Klout scores?

Last time I checked (which was admittedly many months ago), Klout was based on a closed model related to your activity on certain places on the Internet. I doubt that it has changed to include personal self-hosted blogs. Of course, it also does not measure things that are in real life, such as presentation ability, research contributions, or books authored.

That being said, the Klout score ignores most of the 'meat' of what makes these people great. The scores should be removed while leaving the rest of the list intact.

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